The season of heat has started on the west coast, Pacific states. The U.S. is underway with a very bolstering heat wave with today a high of 112° as far north as Portland, Oregon! And it is not much better towards the interior provinces of lower Canada. I am wishing every one of my followers in this region to be prepared for a very hot and lengthy hot season this summer, due to a stagnant, dry, high pressure system called a hot dome whereby the air actually heats when it sinks, conditions very similar in nature to that of the inside of a convection oven while in use. Also, the concurrent onslaught of wildfires to follow is completely and realistically imminent. I will keep you informed of any of changes as they happen, coming up, and hopefully the sooner the better. Meantime, be ready. I am sharing some helpful tips and pointers to be prepared so that your health and welfare are not adversely affected during this outbreak!
Does the Forecast Involve an Excessive Heat “Watch” or “Warning”?
As informed by the National Weather Service in the article: Heat Watch vs. Warning, the definition of a heat watch and warning are different by region, because of climactic conditioning that stands in the the example of that say Florida would be more accustomed to a 90°F day than Alaska. Not only resources different in the different but the bodies aren’t used to that type of weather either, just like snow in Florida would be a catastrophe. Here are the demographics in any case of excess heat in determining the difference between being a warning or watch:
- Excessive Heat Warning—Take Action! An Excessive Heat Warning is issued within 12 hours of the onset of extremely dangerous heat conditions. The general rule of thumb for this Warning is when the maximum heat index temperature is expected to be 105° or higher for at least 2 days and night time air temperatures will not drop below 75°; however, these criteria vary across the country, especially for areas not used to extreme heat conditions. If you don’t take precautions immediately when conditions are extreme, you may become seriously ill or even die.
- Excessive Heat Watches—Be Prepared! Heat watches are issued when conditions are favorable for an excessive heat event in the next 24 to 72 hours. A Watch is used when the risk of a heat wave has increased but its occurrence and timing is still uncertain.
- Heat Advisory—Take Action! A Heat Advisory is issued within 12 hours of the onset of extremely dangerous heat conditions. The general rule of thumb for this Advisory is when the maximum heat index temperature is expected to be 100° or higher for at least 2 days, and night time air temperatures will not drop below 75°; however, these criteria vary across the country, especially for areas that are not used to dangerous heat conditions. Take precautions to avoid heat illness. If you don’t take precautions, you may become seriously ill or even die.
- Excessive Heat Outlooks—Be Aware! The outlooks are issued when the potential exists for an excessive heat event in the next 3-7 days. An Outlook provides information to those who need considerable lead-time to prepare for the event.
Tips: Preparedness Before, During & After a Heat Wave:
BEFORE THE HEAT WAVE:
Here are tips before the onslaught of a heat wave, hot spell, or otherwise uncomfortably warm and dangerously hot set of days. A lot of tips and pointers on issues with dealing with a heat spell can be done before an excessive heat watch or warning are issued:
PREPARATION BEFORE THE HEAT WAVE:
- For your own personal safety, make sure that you air conditioning and/or proper ventilation is functioning properly in your:
- Make sure that you stock up on water, Gatorade and/or fluids before the onslaught of the heat wave hits, due to availability and the fact that water will become scarce or sellout, and that store checkout lines will develop just to buy fresh water or fluids. Given time, lines get longer as time ticks. Make sure that your medications are all filled up before the onslaught of a heatwave.
- Make sure that your cell phone is properly functioning, batteries, etc. Make sure that your plan is to have the cell phone properly charged before the heat wave sets in, especially if a blackout occurs. Make sure that the phone backs up in a timely manner.
- Make sure that your water in your house is functioning properly and maintained. The last thing you need is to have the water off during a heat wave.
- Make sure that any children are accommodated properly. Children are completely dependent on you making proper decisions upon the heat.
- Make sure that proper accommodations for all pets are taken care of before the heat wave. Consult with your veterinarian for proper care of the pet, as special instructions guarantee the welfare of each particular pet.
- Make sure that unnecessary electric items are unplugged before the heat sets in. Additional power being consumed than necessary during a heat wave makes the electric going through the service panel (fuse box) less efficient, and the service panel can overheat easier. This can make the whole electric system run hotter throughout the whole building, including the appliances and items plugged in. This is especially important if the power company drops the voltage in your area due to brown-outs, and the wires heat up even more. This all is really detrimental to sensitive equipment like medical devices and computers.
- Make sure that your automobiles and trucks are all properly maintained, with fluids at or near full, especially coolant and oil. Don’t wait until a breakdown. You never know where you will be, and putting mechanical work off until breakdown is a disaster. Also, once the heat wave starts, mechanics will be swamped with work for breakdowns abroad, putting you at risk for a serious amount of downtime with your automobile, which will render you with limits on your availability to shop, work, make appointments or go to school.
- Cover your windows, both auto and home with a protective heat wrap, foil or whatever it takes to limit sunshine bleeding through and making it even hotter. In the case of a car, invest in buying a windshield heat shade.
- Make sure that your windows are properly caulked and sealed, Nothing worse than feeling the heat pour in on a hot afternoon!
- Make sure that your auto windows are properly functioning, because nothing is worse than your air conditioning going out first and having little or no ventilation because the windows don’t function properly while ring down the road. If this should happen when you are stuck in stop and go traffic, your chances to pass out increase, so take care to pay attention before the heat arrives.
- Make sure you have at least a half of a tank of gas. It’s not advisable to drive on an empty tank is the potential damage to your fuel pump, and the heat makes matters worse, as even on a not so hot day, overheating any part in your vehicle is never a good thing—fuel pump included. Running on a low gas tank can cause the overheating of the fuel pump and/or premature failure of the pump or other auto parts.
- Make sure that your tires are not overfilled with air in the heat. The tires actually naturally over-inflate during the heat, so you don’t want to prepare for disaster of a flat in the coming heat.
- If you live or work in a high-rise, air conditioning is a must in a heat wave, because the oxygen level drops off as you go up to higher floors as the air thins much quicker, and there is no way to blow the oxygen up a stairway because the oxygen is too heavy to do so successfully without windows at the upper levels, especially from heat because any gas will compress from introduction of heat, which will cause thermal destratification, the process of mixing the internal air in a building to eliminate stratified layers, more profound with more heat. More heat, more layering. Windows in high-rises get to be sketchy because the pollution levels sometimes increase, and pollution is made up of complex combinations of compounds which can be lighter and heavier than oxygen. Sometimes the compounds or elements are no so much poisonous, but breathable. But as in the case of say carbon dioxide, it is not poisonous but not breathable, and sinks under the oxygen because of the heavier weight. Carbon monoxide is unique as it very close to oxygen, just lighter and it is very poisonous. Introduction of heat from the heat wave, causes compounds to activates the properties of reactions to any and all compounds so any lack of oxygen due to too much of other compounds causes people to pass out. If they are poisonous, heat will intensify a person’s tolerance to even smaller amounts of a poisonous gas, causing a pass out or even could preclude death, so you have to be careful when it comes to living in a high-rise and there are problems with the air conditioning. All the conditions are prominent in any high-rise, not just during hot days. It is defined as “sick-building syndrome”, marked by sometimes unexplained headaches and respiratory problems that go away when leaving the building affected.
- If you must leave, unless you move, you should set the thermostat high, but not turn it completely off, because the refrigerator and freezer run hotter, and chance of mechanical failure to your appliances is higher due to working in excruciating heat.
- Make sure that you keep an eye on the weather. Pay careful attention to weather reports. Have a weather radio or go online for continued progression of a heat wave.
- Know your neighbors names and telephone numbers, especially if you have elderly or disabled neighbors.
- Be ready for rolling blackouts. It seems a sign of these troubled times! Make sure that your desktops and laptops backup on a timely basis. Make sure you have plans to use a cloud-style protocol from your Android or iPhone if you experience longer than expected blackouts.
- Well before the onslaught of any heatwave, consider buying heatwave insurance. Contact your insurance agent. Don’t wait until you are already in a heat wave!
- Go online and read the insert on heat waves from the CDC: Keep Your Cool in Hot Weather!
DIRECTLY BEFORE THE HEAT WAVE, AT THE ONSLAUGHT:
The instance that you hear, several days before onslaught, consider a backup plan. Failures are a possibility, so being prepared for the worst is better than being prepared for nothing. When the authorities issue information with critical information, get ready right away, and listen to direction! Do NOT wait until it is too late. Procrastination is your worst enemy, as once critical information is broadcast, others will pay heed to it and with more persons trying to do the same thing and/or moving to cover at the same time can and will lead to a mock rush hour. During the heat wave, it is sometimes harder to think straight, and mistakes happen easier. More accidents happen while driving due to the fact that the heat makes it harder to concentrate. Make sure that your safety is not compromised! If you are in quarters or at work, and the building must be evacuated, here is a to-do list:
- Make sure that cell phone battery is properly charged!
- Check on your neighbors status, especially if you have elderly or disabled neighbors.
- Make sure that you have a plan and properly accommodate any children during the oncoming heatwave. Children are not able to deal with making proper decisions for themselves dealing with a heatwave, and need proper direction.
- Make sure that your proper accommodations for any pets are ready for implementation. Make sure that you have consulted with your veterinarian for proper planning–special instructions will better guarantee the welfare of each particular pet.
- When authorities say to evacuate, DO NOT argue, and do so immediately.
- Make sure that your cell phone is properly charged. Don’t forget the charger wherever you go.
- If you are instructed to go to shelter, make sure proper planning is adhered to.
- Make sure you bring proper ID, you will need it to get back when the heatwave is over.
- Make sure that your automobile is immobilized and ready.
- If in a fire district, wildfires can start and the situation turns emergency fast.
- If an evacuation order is issued, you will not be allowed to stay at your home, building or business.
Make sure you do not forget anything at home, because you will not be able to return to home one you leave! The authorities WILL NOT allow you to go back once you make your move for any reason, as they do not have time to deal with security issues and are trained to make sure everyone is getting out. If you wait too long and cannot evacuate, if you have an emergency, a lot of times there may be no assistance for you in an emergency. Phone lines are down even in this computer age, and emergency individuals are swarmed with work, and a lot of people already evacuated.
DURING THE HEAT WAVE:
- Make sure that you are indoors or in air conditioning as much as you possibly can. Fans are almost a must if you can’t be in air conditioning.
- Make sure as many persons know where you are before emergency, so as many people can keep an eye out in case of emergency.
- Stop working, playing or any activity immediately if you. . .
- experience shortness of breath or can’t catch your breath.
- chest pains, including a sharp pain throbbing into either hand down your arms, especially your left arm!
- are lightheaded and/or feel as though you are passing out.
- Unexplained coughing episodes.
- feel nausea or sickness.
- experience muscle cramping. It may be an early sign of heat-related illness.
- Take care in scheduling activity accordingly. If you have to work, working earlier hours to avoid the heat of an afternoon can be the choice between life and death. Limit your outdoor activity, especially midday when the sun is hottest.
- Pace your activity, and start activities slow and pick up the pace gradually, and do not overdo it! Work smarter, not harder–through proper planning.
- Make sure that if you are wearing any COVID-19 face mask or covering, that you really make sure that you are ventilated properly and are getting enough oxygen to do the activity you are trying to do. There have been more and more people passing out from too little oxygen. There are now reports of brain and tissue damage, and reports are being altered and misreported by news agencies in order to under report the damages being done by wearing protective face coverings while doing exercise. Studies are underway and it is going to take years if not decades to find all the collateral damage that we have been experiencing during the implementation of using face masks during activities.
- Wear loose, lightweight, light-knitted and light-colored clothing.
- Outdoors, wear and reapply sunscreen with a higher SPF as indicated on the label.
- Don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink water. Body cues are offset during the heat. Drink plenty of water and/or Gatorade, even if you are not feeling thirsty. don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink more.
- Do NOT drink alcohol! Drinking alcoholic beverages in hot weather can have serious consequences, because during extreme heat, sweating is increased and drinking alcohol causes fluid loss because of the increase in urination. The combination can lead to dehydration, and dehydration causes an upset to the body’s temperature which is regulated by the hypothalamus gland. If you think that you have a problem with drinking and can’t stop or do without it during a heatwave, there is help: Alcohol & Drug Addiction Hotlines | 24/7 Rehab Helplines. If you wait until the heatwave it may be the hospital or death!
- Make sure that you are sweating. It is harder in the dessert on your body, because the body doesn’t feel as hot when the body is in dry air as opposed to moisture. The heat index is actually backwards! It may be 110° in actuality,and only feel like it is the 90’s. The body feeling cooler than it is is actually a bad disguise. Since it is really hot, the chance for heat stroke and or exhaustion are higher and you may feel little or no symptoms at all right before a fall. It’s not safe in the humid weather either, because your body can overheat from over-sweating easier. Since sweat is designed to cool your body, and it can’t evaporate properly, your body will overheat far easier in humidity. In any conditions, ALWAYS drink plenty of water, all day long while it is hot! Never forget to replenish.
- Keep in constant contact on your neighbors status, especially if you have elderly or disabled neighbors, even if you are not around the area. Calling and making contact to make sure they are safe is a great idea!
- Children are completely dependent on you being there for them during the heat! Make sure they have plenty of water and drinks at all times. Make sure that you NEVER leave any child in your car unattended, not even a minute!! Cars are typically 35 to 50 extra degrees in summer sun. That can be hotter than any outdoor temperature ever recorded on the earth! Children can die in a closed automobile! It is a major to leave a child unattended in a car in the summertime in all states! Treat your child as if they are yourself!
- Make sure that your accommodations for any pets are being implemented properly. The welfare of your pet is riding on your responsibility. Make sure that your pets have proper and plenty of water at all times. Make sure that you NEVER leave any pet in your car with or without the windows cracked. The little crack in the window is not enough to ensure that your pet can breath. Most animals do not sweat like a human can. They really cannot survive in a closed car, especially in cages. Pets die in closed automobiles! It is also illegal to leave an animal in most states in summer months! For the sake of your pets life, do not leave them in the car!
- Don’t over-eat! Large meals in the heat are not a good idea, because it exerts extra energy to digest large portions, and can also make you nauseated because of the heat.
- Don’t use the stove or oven to cook—it will make you and your house that much hotter, and it is not even cost effective, because your air conditioner will even work harder and–there goes your cooling!
- Don’t take warm or hot showers. Cool showers without the steam are best. The water vapor can further deplete oxygen levels in hot conditions, and the cool water will cool your body naturally.
- Rolling blackouts happen in heatwaves. Be prepared at all times! Make sure the cell phone works. Landlines almost never work during a power outage, unless you have commercial communications equipment equipped to have a backup.
- Make sure that you pamper your car. No fast starts and overdoing accelerations. The automobile or truck will really appreciate a break. Heatwaves are never a great time to show off your hot rod!
- Check the tire pressure. During the heat, your tires may over-inflate. Most newer cars are equipped with a system that regularly monitors the pressure of your tires. Make sure it is what your owner’s manual suggests for the summer months. When coupled with the scorching hot pavement and a heavy load for long car trips, your tires could even potentially blow out right in the middle of a driving session. Have a plan for this type of emergency.
- Stay informed by monitoring the storm by radio, and if power is still an option, plug in the TV, and/or internet. A battery operated NOAA.com weather radio is most helpful.
- If you go the the pool or beach, make sure you adhere to all of the common sense tips and pointers as indicated on this post. Just because it is the pool or beach doesn’t make it completely safe. Be realistic. Remember wet skin sunburns easier than dry skin. Use sunscreen that is approved for use with water! Don’t drink or use drugs while swimming! Being impaired never teams up with being near water, especially underwater.
- If you play a sport that practices during hot weather, protect yourself and look out for your teammates:
- If you are wearing a cloth face covering and feel yourself overheating or having trouble breathing, put at least 6 feet of distance between yourself and others and remove the face covering. More safety tips: https://www.cdc.gov/disasters/extremeheat/heattips.html #COVID19.
- Schedule workouts and practices earlier or later in the day when the temperature is cooler.
- Monitor a teammate’s condition, and have someone do the same for you.
- Seek medical care right away if you or a teammate has symptoms of heat-related illness.
- Learn more about how to protect young athletes from heat-related illness by taking this CDC course.
AFTER THE HEAT WAVE:
Access any and all damages carefully and pay attention to safety.
- If you feel as though your health has been compromised in any way due to the heatwave, or your health feels in any way different, consult your primary physician right away. If it feels more urgent, or you cannot wait for an appointment, go to the emergency room–or if it is an emergency, always dial 9-1-1 for an ambulance.
- If there are losses, call your insurance agent as soon as possible. Follow these tips after proper accessing has been done, and don’t forget to take photos first before you fix damages. keep all receipts for supplies, fixing–for insurance or to claim a loss.
- After the summer months, you can remove any window wraps, films, foils and other building materials that are intended for the heatwave, and do not improve the home. You can remove same from your car. You can put the sunscreen away for the season.
- Fix the decor to return everything to it’s normal state.
There is more information available on the subject at: CDC: Keep Your Cool in Hot Weather. A heatwave is a nasty fact of life, and don’t happen every year, but when they do, it is not so fun! Don’t let the next heatwave be your last! Pay proper attention and be safe! They are not going away forever, and we need to be prepared, and be safe.
FIND YOUR LOCAL NOAA.com WEATHER RADIO STATION:
FIND YOUR LOCAL NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE FORESCAST:
The truth is that I am hearing about this newer theory stated as “Climatic Change”. It is being discussed that because we have a hot year or a wet year, etc.–that this is a definition of climate in considering this a matter of climate change. With the scientific validity, a climate is defined as the studies of weather conditions that are secured over a long period of time, usually 30 years and higher. So the #RealNews of this matter is that this is not only backed up by the U.S.’s own Department of NASA – What’s the Difference Between Weather and Climate?, also by Wikipedia: Climate subject page, then yet also Encyclopedia Britannica: Understanding climate subject page and Webster’s dictionary even defines as “the average course or condition of the weather at a place usually over a period of years as exhibited by temperature, wind velocity, and precipitation” with an undefined “period” of years. There are articles out there with “experts” stating that this is indeed a sign of climatic change. Then while reading the articles, these are based on information compiled from reputable sources, and then it is disclosed in two cases that the expert testimonial is based on thee great work and study of professionals that work at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration for a period of a couple of decades–not the 30 or more years you need to begin to access a climate change. Therefore the articles I was reading were misconstruing the expert testimonial on studies of a couple decades and then redefining the meaning of a climate as defined of thirty years or more. Therefore the reporters who made these articles didn’t do a fact check with the dictionaries and encyclopedias first. These persons are actually trying to scare persons more than report great news. There were some sources who did a more excellent job at reporting out there. The reporters could have also did more research about the properties of the cycles of La Niña and El Niño having more to do with climate. We were at the end of a La Niña last year which made the tropics in the Atlantic explode last year.than anything, and it may need to be studied if this has anything to do locally with the conditions in the Northwest. This is not exactly fake news, but severely poor reporting, and the practice of trying to scare readers on a very important and pertinent subject. Just defined–The science always speaks, not opinions. Climate is over 30 years, not a couple decades.